National Eating Disorders Association

The NEDA Network, a collaboration between NEDA and other like-minded eating disorders organizations, is working to promote No Diet Day, taking place on May 6, 2019.  Network organizations are supporting No Diet Day to encourage the rejection of diet culture and the elimination of shame associated with society’s standards of beauty and respect for all body shapes and sizes.

May 6th will mark the NEDA Network’s first national #NoDietDay social media campaign. We encourage you all to mark the day on your calendars and plan to participate! 

Thank you to NEDA Network member Breaking the Chains Foundation for sponsoring this blog post.

This week, during Shabbat morning worship, Jews around the world will read the foundational laws of kashrut (Jewish dietary law) from the Torah. These laws are extensive and specific because they describe the species of land, air, and sea animals that are kosher. In the thousands of years since this first iteration of kashrut, Jewish legal authorities have interpreted and expanded upon the original rules. Today, kashrut is a system of procedures for harvesting, preparing, and serving food, which people follow with varying levels of strictness. 

Once upon a time… Well, this is no fairytale. I want to start at the end and work my way back, like one of those flashback episodes of a TV crime drama. So here goes, my name is Kymberly. Currently, I live in NYC and am working on building a career out of my everything passions art and dance, helping people feel and live better, and lifting heavy things. So far, so good. What’s interesting to me, however, is that when I look back on everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve accomplished, I see it’s in fact the struggles I’ve faced that have made me successful at what I do.

1. People with atypical anorexia are a normal body size, or juuuuust over the weight limit for an anorexia diagnosis.

Equine-assisted therapy has been an emerging form of psychotherapy in recent decades. While research has demonstrated its efficacy in treating mental health diagnoses such as PTSD, autism, and mood disorders, research regarding equine-assisted therapy and eating disorders is lacking. As a therapist using the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model of equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), I have been able to observe how aspects of the model and working with horses in general could be beneficial in the treatment of eating disorders.

As National Eating Disorders  Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week) comes to a close, I reflect on how the 2019 theme, Come as You Are, highlights NEDA’s movement towards inclusivity in the greater eating disorders (ED) community, and the goal of unifying the ED field. In particular, Come as You Are sends a message to individuals at all stages of body acceptance and ED recovery that their stories are valid. We hope that message continues beyond this week.

When I began my recovery journey from an eating disorder 13 years ago, I had a certain set of expectations about how the recovery process would go. Healthcare professionals told me to expect several things. They reassured me that as I learned to eat a broader variety of foods that my anxiety around eating would go down. What?! They said the more I faced my fears, the more comfortable I would feel.

What does it mean to "Come as You Are?" It means to show up regardless of where you're at in life or how you're doing. It means to be authentic and to share your true self with the world. This is sometimes super scary. Or it's vulnerable. It takes work to share our true selves with the world and if we're not ready yet, that's okay too.